Studio Marco Piva | Mirage Hotel
In this project the fundamental concept is the offspring of the idea of “mirage” and “illusion”. Each area then features a key theme, a specific concept, on which the design idea is based. The various spaces thus lend form to the illusion. The certain and the real merge in the mirage, meant as changeability, surprise and emotion – as “another” and special place, a place where reality is distorted by illusion, at one and the same time masked and unmasked. In addition, it was impossible for this hotel’s location not to influence design choices. Kazan is one of the most important and oldest cities in Russia, about 800 km to the east of Moscow, in the territory of Tatarstan – suggestive from the naturalistic standpoint and also very wealthy, since it is both an industrial and agricultural area.
Kazan is set on the lower Siberian border, where the Kazanka and Volga rivers converge. It is therefore a riverside city with a large and important port. In 2004 Kazan will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary – and for that date, work on many building sites, still open, will be completed, as part of the project to relaunch and renew the city. In architectural terms, Kazan preserves the historical memory of several different types of city: the Tatar city, which is unfortunately disappearing, consisting of houses in wood and stone; the official Russian city, built emulating works in Moscow and St. Petersburg and featuring architecture of a quite imposing neoclassical style; and, lastly, the Soviet city, in suburban areas, consisting of huge concrete “barracks”.
But the most important feature in terms of landscape and architecture is Kremlin Hill: the hill, a place delegated to power, preserves numerous historical reminders: mediaeval walls, 18th-century walls, the ancient mosques, and Orthodox churches, etc. – all the symbols of temporal and religious power. And it is indeed in front of this suggestive hill that a Russian investment company – NIRA-export – has built a complex consisting of a conference centre and hotel facilities. The first item to be built was the conference and meeting centre, consisting of an imposing steel and glass pyramid with adjacent facilities and restaurants, with capacity for some 1,500 people.
At the top of the pyramid is a VIP room on several floors, enjoying the view of the Kremlin, and itself becoming a suggestive luminous scenario in the Russian night. The structure is in steel and concrete, whilst the covering consists of stratified glass panelling. Alongside the pyramid is the Mirage Hotel, a luxury 5-star hotel with a business orientation. Its original schematic architecture – developed by a Yugoslavian engineering company – has been revised and expanded by Studio Marco Piva, which is also responsible for all the hotel’s interiors. The hotel, featuring 109 rooms, basically consists of two blocks linked by a plinth, developed on two floors, containing public areas.
The first floor envisages a large foyer, which acts as a junction; a conference, business and meeting centre, equipped with a plenary conference room (holding up to 200 people) and with smaller rooms which can be adapted to different sizes; an office area; a coffee and drinks bar, facing on to the foyer and endowed with a strong offering of wines; and a panoramic restaurant accessed from the bar, looking over the Kremlin and the large steel and glass pyramid that create a splendid background, particularly thanks to night-time illumination. “Opera” – the hotel’s main restaurant – will dedicate special attention to Italian cuisine. Its scenario is based on the themes of ballet and music – traits d’union between Russian and Italian culture.
Close to the Italian restaurant, which once again faces on to the foyer, a sushi bar has been created. The variety of restaurants is a response to the international nature of the hotel’s clientele. For the ground floor a large and well-equipped wellbeing centre is envisaged, with a swimming pool and fitness rooms. Both the foyer, on the floor above, and the well-being centre face on to an outdoor scenario featuring large swimming pools with heated water fountains since, in winter, due to the extremely cold outside temperatures (sometimes as low as –40°), they create a suggestive steam effect introducing the internal spa theme. Always on the ground floor, with a separate entrance, there is a nightclub that will accommodate the hotel’s business customers; it is characterised by a long glass counter, which acts as an extension of the stage.
The scenic setting of the various areas, equipped with articulated zones of seating, is based on the play of lights creating suggestive atmospheres. This floor also features, once again with direct access also from outside, the “Joker”, a restaurant-beer house also open to customers from outside the hotel. These premises are equipped with an internal brewery that will produce beer directly for the Joker. The large beer distillers can be seen from the restaurant. The Joker is also characterised by an unusual steel counter with a shape that recalls, doubled, the J of Joker, whilst the design of the room is based on the lozenges of the Joker’s smocks. This area is designed for a young, dynamic and music-loving public. A stage in fact hosts jam sessions of contemporary music and jazz.
The Joker restaurant, which can take up to 200 people, will have a direct view, not only of the “beer factory” but also of the kitchen area. As regards the 109 rooms – of varying sizes (from standard to communicating and from junior to executive suites) – some of them will enjoy the splendid view over the Kremlin. The furnishings – modern and elegant in style – have been made, based on design by Studio Marco Piva, by Tisettanta Contract, using particular types of wood, combining the graphic qualities of wood grains and the chiaroscuro of oak and wenghé. The bed heads instead play on the different nuances of various types of leather.
The units will be equipped with large work surfaces and zones where small business meetings can be held. Besides comfort and relax, these rooms can also offer a series of services suited to the hotel’s business vocation. The corridors along which the rooms are distributed are conceived as a series of display galleries, with each floor playing on three different colours and shades, such as to set them against the external “white scenario” of the long Russian winters.Location: Kazan, Russia Architect: Studio Marco Piva
Investor/Proptietor: Ing. Radik Shamiev Architecture project: M.D. Engineering – Studio Marco Piva Director of works: M.D. Engineering General coordination: Mirjana e Nicola Koprivica